The bankrupt Murray Energy coal company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last two years funding groups that deny mainstream climate science and other entities that have sought to weaken carbon regulations, documents show.
The groups funded by Murray dominate anti-science fights in Washington, D.C., and have significant sway in the Trump administration.
The donations, revealed in a new bankruptcy filing, include $130,000 to the Heartland Institute, $200,000 to the Competitive Enterprise Institute and $300,000 to Government Accountability & Oversight, which profiles environmental activists.
Murray also contributed $60,000 to the International Climate Science Coalition, a group that promotes climate science denialism in a number of countries, according to the filings, which were obtained by the Climate Investigations Center.
Murray donated $60,000 to the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. The donations make Murray one of the largest funders of such groups.
Murray is the largest private coal company in the country, but the declining state of the industry forced it to file for bankruptcy in October, following the fate of other major coal firms in recent years (Greenwire, Oct. 29).
Murray Energy’s former CEO, Bob Murray, has long been a loud opponent of climate science and carbon regulations.
In the early days of the administration, Murray, a major Trump donor, gave officials a list of regulations he opposed and proposed actions to help coal. The administration has followed through on at least some of the demands.
While Murray’s opposition to climate science has long been public, his financial support of such efforts had been a mystery.
The findings show Murray was pressing the Trump administration for environmental rollbacks as he was funding groups seeking to muddy the public’s understanding of climate science.